Best Dial Caliper for Woodworking

Best Dial Caliper for Woodworking

Dial calipers stand out among the different types of calipers on the market. They are usually user-friendly, have close to no error, and offer swift measurement compared to their counterparts; vernier calipers. 

That being said, while dial calipers are not as quick as digital calipers, they do not entirely rely on a battery, so you don't have to worry about it turning off in the middle of your project. 

Meanwhile, when trying to find the most suitable dial caliper, there are various considerations you should take into account, like the thumbscrew, accuracy, smoothness, material, reading unit, and the integrity of its build. Again, it would be best to choose the correct dial caliper for specific tasks like woodworking or machining. 

Today, we learn more about the best woodworking-specific dial calipers. Choosing the right one can be tedious as there are numerous options to choose from. In this article, we've reviewed a few of the best dial calipers on the market to give you a hand. 

So, without further ado, let's delve into the review:

Our Top Pick – Brown & Sharpe 599-579-4 

Brown & Sharpe are among the most reputable companies in this industry, which is why it shouldn't be a surprise that one of their products made its way to this review. The 599-579-4 dial caliper is a great choice, and it is incredibly smooth when using, precise, and will serve you for years. It is versatile enough for woodworkers, machinists, aerospace engineers, and metal workers, who require a top-quality dial caliper. 

This effective dial caliper has a range of 0.6inches, the most popular range. When it comes to resolution and accuracy, it stands at 0.001 inches and ± 0.001 inches. This accuracy meets the DIN862 standards. 

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Its build includes toughened stainless steel, which gives it a longer life span and is robust enough to resist corrosion. The design is a prevalent genius, and it comes with a covering rack that works to block dirt or chipping, possibly able to interfere with the rack and gear motion. 

Brown & Sharpe 599-579-4 Pros and Cons


  • Precise since it meets the DIN 862 standards
  • Smooth operation 
  • An excellent choice for woodworkers
  • Durable


  • The 6-inch version doesn't have a thumb roll, but the 8-inch and 12-inch versions do. 


Overall, this is the best dial caliper for woodworking; it is an excellent product, and you can indeed feel the smoothness when the needle rotates and when the dial slides. All the same, some users have an issue with the thumb roll. Luckily, the 6-inch version is the only one that does not have a thumb roll; the 12-inch and 8-inch versions have it. 

Runner Up - Mitutoyo 505-742-56 

You can never go wrong with a Mitutoyo dial caliper. This 6 -inch caliper was produced in Brazil and was embraced by the woodworking community for being precise, well-designed, and among the smoothest in terms of operation. You'll appreciate the fit, feel and finish this dial caliper has to offer. 

The 505-742-56 caliper sports a re-engineered dial that's easy to read, and it's ideal for extra-smooth motion and increased shock shielding. The face of the dial is black, as opposed to the usual white, which is more effortless to read. Again, this dial caliper can measure depth, inside, and outside diameter and move remarkably accurately. 

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Moreover, it has a lock screw for keeping the sliding jaw and the dial bezel in balance. It looks terrific when locked, measures 0.001", and offers an array of 0 to 6 inches. You can effortlessly adjust the caliper using one hand, thanks to the thumb roller. 

Mitutoyo 505-742-56 Pros and Cons


  • This caliper can adequately hold a setting even after locking
  • You can easily adjust it using one hand thanks to the thumb roller
  • The robust plastic case facilitates proper storage when you're not using it


  • The white dial face version is not legible


Its rugged stainless-steel construction and the tin-coated surface to reduce wear make this Mitutoyo dial caliper extremely durable. The in-built tough plastic case in this tool allows for safe storage. 

Best Budget - Anytime AT203185 Dial Caliper 

For less than $50, you can get this magnificent work of art. The AT203185 dial caliper offers an incredible dual reading. You'll get two readings simultaneously without having to push the conversions buttons, which is the same case with digital calipers. 

It has two red and black needles in the scale, and they move clockwise. This feature makes it easy and possible to convert a reading instantly regardless of its mechanical functioning system. The black needle measures inches while the red needle gives measurements in millimeters. Again, these colors come in handy in making the readings legible. 

This dial caliper has dual readings, thus two resolutions. The resolution for the mm scale is 0.02mm, while the inch scale's resolution is 0.001 inches. This information is written on the dial face. In addition to this, it has a range of 6 inches, which covers a handful of the widespread measurements. 

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Anytime AT203185 Dial Caliper Pros and Cons


  • It comes with two needles and two scales
  • It is inexpensive
  • Durable plastic casing for safety storage


  • Its operation is not as smooth as the Mitutoyo and Brown & Sharpe dial calipers.


It is an excellent choice, and while it is mechanical, it can convert the readings as quickly as a digital caliper. Besides, it features a thumb roller that lets you work with one hand effortlessly. It is also a great budget option. This dial caliper will come in handy for all woodworkers, whether you're a beginner or a professional. 

Lastly, you can store this tool in its sturdy plastic casing to keep it safe. 


In summary, as a woodworker, you will be making plenty of measurements, and you'll need the best that the industry has to offer. The three tools in this review will serve you for a long time, and we even threw in a budget-friendly option if you're not willing to spend a lot of money. 

They have impressive accuracy, which is essential when woodworking. The AT203185 does not offer as smooth a function as the rest, but it will get the job done. Well, there you have it, the best dial caliper for woodworking!

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